It may not be Knightsbridge, the Kings Road or the Oxford and Regent Street combo. So where is it?

It may not be Knightsbridge, the Kings Road or the Oxford and Regent Street combo. So where is it?

Think about shopping as a leisure activity for a moment and where is the best place in the capital to head for if you want to enjoy a little of what used to be referred to as retail therapy? The answer may not be quite as obvious as you might think. Forget for a moment the blandishments of the big stores and the luxury acres to be found in Mayfair and across pretty much the whole of SW1 - for most of us they’re just plain unaffordable.

Indeed, in terms of affordability there are great swathes of London that function as eye-candy rather than any kind of realistic shopping possibility. Which means less retail relaxation and rather more stress at the prices that are being demanded. Strip this away therefore and what are the options? Bookmarking the central London there are of course the Westfield malls, but if the shopper is determined to remain within a mile or so of Piccadilly the choices become rather more limited.

To St Pancras station therefore - the point of departure for those in search of a little continental chic and some ooh la la where people are, for the most a mite demob happy. Hardly surprising therefore that they may be in the mood for browsing the shops before heading into the Eurostar terminal proper and many familiar names have put their best foot forward to offer something that capture the essence of their brand and perhaps something extra as well.

The fact that there is a branch of Foyles, the London-based bookshop here speaks volumes (apologies) for the general level of education of those who pass this way. Unlike our high street bookshops, this one is almost always busy and it stocks not chocolate, computer games and ‘gifts’, but books.

And now Fortnum & Mason has announced that it is about to move into a unit in the former ticket office. It is the perfect tenant for this location. It is certainly about luxury, but it is affordable insofar as it will represent a destination for treats, but one that will leave you smiling, instead of ruing your visit.

On this reckoning the move by one the monarch’s preferred shops into this location is a canny one and will add to its attraction overall. Perhaps this really is the best place to spend a little time relaxing…and shopping…in London.